On Saturday, we celebrated my mom’s birthday (observed). After a lovely family brunch at the always pleasant and taste-a-saurus Sardine, we migrated to The Baskerville for the so-called Tour of the Century. I was super psyched to see these apartments-turned-condos and the visit was only enhanced by the presence of my family. Sure, it was a pain to hold Bear for the whole tour (and most of that pain fell to AO), but it really was our fault for forgetting the carrier (it’s in the car, why do we always forget it!?). Anyway, the tour was super cool because it included a showing of one unit on all five floors, including the two-story penthouse; the whole place having been described as a community.*
On the first floor, we were shown two units that had been merged into one by breaking through a wall and installing a period-appropriate pocket door. Cle-ver! The real jaw-dropping part of this show, though, came when I heard this phrase, “And this was where Orson Welles slept for about a month.” Insert record needle scratch sound. Whoah, what? Yes, apparently Orson Welles lived in Madison (how did I not know this? Oh, maybe because it’s not necessarily true) for a short time. Hello!
The basement condo was super cool with a odd glass window into the guy’s bedroom as if it were some sort of museum exhibit. Anyway, the second floor condo we got to see was small, but super cute with the most amazing kitchen. The couple had reoutfitted the outlets with vintage-looking push button fixtures. Love those push buttons. The penthouse was pretty amazing. It was over 2000 square feet with a huge wraparound balcony with Lake Monona glistening a couple of blocks away. For all of its ample space, though, the condo featured only one actual bedroom, though the second floor boasted a cool Murphy bed that could be secluded from the living space with a built-in curtain hung from the ceiling. Because it was someone else’s space, not everything was my taste, but the space was remarkable and impressive nonetheless. I was ooh-ing and ah-ing.
I think the condo on the third floor may have left the longest impression on me. Not so much for what it looked like (though it was cute), but for what it held. A family of three – a mom, a dad, and a two-year old – call this 432 square foot one-bedroom condo home. I don’t know how they do it, but they do and they seemed quite happy and hospitable to boot. In fact, they were serving scones! I’ve been thinking a lot about them as I contemplate our space. Although we have just one bedroom, we also have an additional 800 square feet of living space than they, which includes a second full bathroom. In addition, of course, we have a significant basement space, which gives us oodles of storage. I’m so impressed by this family.
Actually, I’m impressed with all of the families who opened their doors to strangers for hours and hours over the course of two days. I can’t imagine they were jumping up and down to show off their most intimate spaces, but I hope they know how grateful we all are that they did so. And I’m so happy to have been able to see the spot where Orson Welles may or may not have slept.
*AO has since described the scene as a good starting point for Wes Anderson’s next movie.